One of the major benefits of concrete pavers is that they come in a wide variety of colors. This is in direct contrast to materials like poured concrete and asphalt, which typically come in one color (unless special coloring is added before they are laid). With this burst of color, you can do much more with your design than you would with the typical greys and blacks of slab materials. For instance, you can match your hardscape to your landscape or to the color palette of your home. Many homeowners fret over picking the right color. Note that there’s not going to be one ‘right’ choice out of a bunch of ‘wrong’ choices – many different blends of brick will work with your project, so pick the one that YOU like the most or that your contractor recommends.
How to Pick the Right Colors
Of course, the colors you pick for your new project, whether driveway, walkway, patio, pool deck, garden, or other application, mostly depend on your taste. Some colors will go well with any environment, especially naturals and neutrals like grey, black, brown, and beige. However, sometimes certain colors will go best with your already existing home style, landscape, and other hardscape projects. This includes reds, oranges, yellows, and pastel colors – these colors can really draw the eye and look great given the right environment, as they can easily clash with other aspects of your home and yard.
Another thing to keep in mind is how the color affects the way the area looks. Lighter colors will generally make a project look larger, while darker colors will make it look smaller. In addition, single color pavers usually show stains much more easily, while blends will hide stains better. However, note that there are plenty of ways to remove stains and clean pavers, so don’t worry about this that much.
Another thing to keep in mind is the heat that may be generated by the pavers you select. If people will be walking on the surface of the pavers with bare feet, it will be best if you take a lighter looking paver. For instance, you will want to go with a lighter color for a pool deck project or a patio versus a driveway. Driveways, in general, are better with darker colors, as this color will hide stains and marks better than a lighter color.
An important note: pavers even within the same colors may differ from order to order. Thus, if you want to use the same color pavers for different projects, its probably best to have those projects completed at the same time to ensure that you won’t have major differences in color between different areas – this is completed by mixing the pallets together as much as possible. You (or whoever is doing the installation) should be sure to take brick from different parts of each pallet and from different pallets at once to ensure an even distribution of the brick.
A Selection of Concrete Paver Colors
In general pavers come in different blends of colors. The most popular are two color blends. This can either mean two bricks of an entirely different color each (for instance, one red and another gold). More commonly, however, this means a set of bricks where the two colors exist in varying quantities. For instance, one brick may contain almost all of Color A, while another can contain almost all Color B, and where other bricks may contain mixtures of A and B at varying amounts.
There are many different paver color blends available from many different concrete paver manufacturers, so an exhaustive list isn’t possible at this point. Please check with your selected manufacturer to determine both paving stone colors selection and availability. (Some paver colors and shapes require manufacturing time as they aren’t kept in stock).
Single color blends – one solid color throughout the pavers. Examples include Nicolock’s charcoal, pewter, chocolate, salmon, chamois, red, limestone, and mojave tan; Grinnell’s charcoal, red, and sand; Cambridge’s Salmon, Sahara, Ruby, Onyx, Chestnut, and Shell;
Two color blends – some of the most popular concrete paver colors. When installing these bricks, the color should be ‘randomized’ as much as is possible. This requires the installer to not take from the top of a single pallet of concrete pavers down through each layer. Instead, the installer should work from multiple pallets at the same time, and work through entire sections. This is to ensure concrete paver color variability throughout the finished product.
Examples of two pavers colors blends include Nicolock’s granite city blend, terra cotta blend, golden brown blend, harvest gold blend, fire island blend, adobe blend, cocoa blend, autumn blend, marble blend, crab orchard blend, bayberry blend, oyster blend, sahara blend, mocha blend, and sage blend; Grinnell’s hickory, buckskin, chestnut, brown flash, gray flash, and multicolor; Camrbidge’s Ruby/Onyx, Sahara/Chestnut, Chestnut/Salmon, Onyx/Natural, Salmon/Onyx, Onyx/Chestnut, Golden/Onyx, Canyon Blend, Toffee/Onyx, Chestnut/Bronze; and Rinox’s Ash Charcoal, Burgundy Wine, Morocco Beige, Ivory Beige, Milton Grey, and Panama Beige.
Note as well that three color blends also do exist, but they are rarer than the ones described above. They are also more difficult to work with, as keeping an even distribution of the color throughout the project can be a challenge. In addition, minimum size requirements for projects with three-color blends are required to allow for proper mixtures of colors.
Note that it is possible to mix colors of different blends together. This is done most often with single colors as the paver pattern or paver design requires. For example, many like to use standard grey brick for the major part of the patio or driveway with a darker border used as a soldier course. However, mixing more than three colors may lead to a very confusing and messy installation. Thus, it’s best to stick with the blends that the manufacturers have provided.
Other Things to Consider
Preserving the color over time is an important aspect of this choice to consider. The best way to do this is to pick a paver that will not fade due to the sun or to rain; in addition, pavers near pools must be able to withstand the effects of chlorinated water. Another way to preserve or heighten the effect of the colors of your brick is to seal the pavers every year or two. This will give them the ‘wet’ look that makes their colors pop from the landscape.